“I wasn’t talking to you.” Henry cut him off, and it truly was like I had an internal bitch switch inside me, and he’d just flipped it into the on position. “Why don’t you drop this homo and hang out with—”
“Excuse me?” I saw red. “What in the fuck did you just call him?”
Charlie grabbed my arm. “Let it go. You know there’s no point in arguing with stupid.”
There was no way in hell I was going to let it go.
As I pulled myself out of the events of that night, I sat back and rubbed my palms along my cheeks, just below my glasses. Guilt coated my skin with clammy sweat. Lowering my hands, I stared at Charlie. His head was turned just slightly, like he was looking at me, but his gaze was focused over my shoulder, at the window.
Let it go, he had said.
If only I had listened.
Friday night was busier than usual with just Nick and me behind the bar since Jax had taken the weekend off to visit Calla in Shepherdstown. Despite the fact I looked like a hot mess with my hair pulled up in a messy bun and wearing an old tank top that was about two sizes too big, I was grateful for the fact the night was flying by. Lack of sleep was catching up with me, and my already crappy mood was somewhere between “fuck me land” and “fuck off town.”
As the night progressed, my mood veered sharply into “everything sucks city.” Normally Reece spent Friday nights at Mona’s. Maybe not the whole night, but he usually showed up by ten. His normal buds were here, at their table, but there was no sign of Reece, and I knew it was because of me.
Dean showed up closer to eleven, and I was hiding from dealing with him on the other side of the bar. Nick was blocking him, and I don’t know what was said to Dean to make him leave around midnight, and I really didn’t care at the moment.
Yeah, everything sucked right now.
Keeping a smile plastered across my face was harder than it should have been as I mixed drinks and chatted with those at the bar. Staying focused on my job was the only thing getting me through the shift.
That and the knowledge there was a huge bag of nachos at home that I was so going to make my bitch when I got off. I was going to smother them in Swiss cheese, nuke the bastards, and go to town.
Sherwood, our temporary head cook in charge, had just come back from break when I turned to help the newest customer who managed to squeeze in at the bar.
My mouth dropped open. Good God, what was up with tonight?
Henry Williams stood in front of me, and he looked a little better than the last time I’d seen him. Like he might’ve gotten some sun. Good for him.
“I just want to talk,” he said, voice barely audible over the music.
I clenched the bottle of Jack so tightly I was surprised it didn’t explode. “I can’t believe you’re standing here,” I said dumbly.
“I’ve been seeing Charlie.” He leaned in, and heat swept down the back of my neck. “I know he’s really bad and—”
“Don’t talk about him. Don’t even say his name.” I started to fling the bottle like I had the book, but even as my hand itched to let it fly and the need to make him hurt was almost all consuming, I didn’t do it.
Somehow I had learned from the last time.
A girl waved her hand, gaining my attention. Shooting Henry a hateful look, I took her order. Of course he was still there when I finished the cocktail.
“Please, Roxy,” he started. “I really want—”
“Do you see how many fucks I have to give when it comes to what you want?” I spread my arms wide. “This many fucks.”
Nick was suddenly there, hands planted on the bar top. “I think you really need to leave.”
“I’m sorry.” Henry raised his hands, looking back and forth between us. “I’m not trying to cause any problems. I just want to talk to her. That’s all.”
Anger swelled inside me so swiftly that when I opened my mouth, I thought I’d breathe fire. “I don’t want to see your face let alone talk to you.”
“You heard the lady,” Nick said, raising his arm and pointing at the door. “Get out.”
Henry looked like he was going to argue, but then shook his head. Reaching down, he pulled a small white square out of his pocket and placed it on the bar. He looked me dead-on. “Call me. Please.”
I glanced down at what turned out to be a business card with some kind of car on it and then back at him. He’d already turned away, making his way through the crowd. Before I could stop myself, I laughed. It was kind of crazy-sounding, sort of like the noise a hyena made before it killed something.
Nick reached for the card, but for some reason unknown to me, I grabbed the card. He arched a brow, but I shook my head as I slipped the card into my pocket.
He lowered his head so he could speak into my ear. “Why?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted, pulling back and looking at him. “I don’t know.”
The rest of the shift was uneventful. Instead of seeing Reece, who I secretly kept waiting to see come through the door, all I got was Dean, Henry Williams, two drunk chicks that had puked on the floor, and a guy who offered to buy me a drink and let me give him head.
When I got home, I was too tired to worry about the weirdness that had been going on in my apartment. Placing my phone on the nightstand, I stripped down to my undies and unhooked the bra, leaving the tank top on since it could’ve doubled as a dress. Then I slinked into bed, tugging the covers up to my chin.